The Warm World, My Cold World
It has been several weeks since Kreija had accepted the offer and a lot has happened within the first division. It was now known that another person has received the title of Assistant First Division Commander, Kreija Senvoska. But it was only in name as she had to go through a tremendous amount of training.
After the nanomachines were injected into her and the codes were installed, she was not allowed to sleep or take a break. Rather, her ability to sleep and desire to eat was practically non-existent. Now she realised why Lisanna and Kristoff never ate and only drank coffee. She now also understood why Kristoff’s appearance was such. It was just because he was lazy to fix his appearance.
After her interview with the Shelter Director, she felt even more pissed as she looked at Kristoff’s face.
“So that’s where you got your personality from. I now despise you both.” She said so casually.
The director didn’t care about what she said. Rather, he enjoyed it saying that it was refreshing to see someone as different as her. Kristoff was lucky to recruit someone like that. Churche, Karina, and Alex also celebrated her sudden promotion with alcohol and a truck load of food. It was practically a feast.
There were a few complaints but after checking her achievements and capabilities, they had no choice but to accept her, especially she was under the direct command of Kristoff ever since she became an intern. The feelings of jealousy from other people wouldn’t fade away after a few years, Lisanna truly empathised with Kreija.
There were even rumours that Kreija was selected to become Kristoff’s assistant because he fancied her. Other rumours stated that she seduced him. But Kreija denied everything and even stared down with daggers on people who spoke of the rumours. She did so until they apologised and reflected. But without her knowledge, because of her defensive stance of the matter, it acted against her. They thought the rumours were true and she was his fling.
There were even gazes of hatred and jealousy towards Kristoff for having two female assistants but after they remembered his relationship with Lisanna, they denied some of the rumours.
All these happened on the whiteys side, and those on the outside were ignorant of what was happening in the inside. Save for a few residents.
“That means we would have to proceed speed up our escape plan.” Esther heaved a heavy sigh as she heard the information delivered by the whiteys.
Yes, there were two whiteys inside the meeting room. But the residents involved in the plan already knew of the whitey. After all, she was included in the list of trusted whiteys.
“It’s a good thing more people joined in as well.” Another resident spoke. “Now we have more people since we started this.”
“True.” The male whitey said so. “Now that Kris has another assistant, things might get tricky on your side. There would be more observers.”
The residents were all downcast. As if their mundane world wouldn’t excite them any longer, now they had to pretend like it’s the best thing ever, lest they get discovered.
“Also, we should start with the next phase of the plan. You guys need to intentionally get cleaned. And a lot of you at that.” The female whitey moved the conversation.
“We have enough codes to disrupt the system for a bit, and open doors as you make your way in between simulations. Although this would only last for two weeks at most.” The male whitey added.
“I think a week is enough. Two weeks would be a little too suspicious.” Esther suggested.
“I concur.” A female resident agreed. “Even a few days would be enough and a lot of us would flood in. That would buy us some time.”
“We can do that. Also, Kris would be too busy handling Kreija’s training and there’s a possibility the Lisanna would handle the simulations and NEWards. She’s not as strict as Kristoff when it comes to data collection and simulation environment and code inspection, but she’s still thorough.” The male whitey agreed and spoke.
They discussed and changed information even more until they reached some consensus. Albeit vague, they understand the general idea of when the next phase would begin and the current events inside. Erias nodded to all those as he understood it while Zsally nodded as well as she seemingly understood the exchange.
Erias and Zsally were invited back in as the whiteys confirmed that they are not being monitored and bugs and other codes are not inserted into their own code.
Now that the meeting has ended, everybody exited the room.
The trio were at the library, relaxing and lazing around. Esther and Erias had their faces planted on the table yet Zsally was drawing, her usual activity when not in the meeting room. She hummed as she drew with a smile on her face. Sometimes, the other two wonder just how much energy she has in that small body of hers.
They had finished their simulations for the week, can’t play in the other entertainment systems because of a huge queue, and can’t even muster the will to read a book. With everything going on, they painfully realised just how colourless their world was. They hadn’t realised how bland the colour grey was, even if it was everywhere. The more they learn of the outside world and the closer the date of their escape comes, the deeper their contemplation become.
Almost everybody who are involved in the escape had this feeling. Their actions had stagnated, resulting in them either laying in bed or lazing around the communal space. You could say the room’s energy decreased dramatically. The only thing that keeps them going is the weekly simulation runs. Because of that, they feel like some colour has returned to their life, even if only momentarily.
Their preparation went smoothly over the weeks. No one was cleaned and they learned more about the inner workings of the whiteys. Notable people, passages, and even how some codes work. They all awaited the day they would start the final phase, which was the trespassing of many residents into multiple restricted zones with the hep of some whiteys on their side. But with how things are right now, it still seems a bit far into the future.
While waiting for the preparations from the whitey’s side, the residents tried to recruit as much people as possible while being under the radar. In these weeks, they have managed to increase their numbers from less than a hundred to about a hundred. It may look like a large number but in fact, that is still a small portion of the total population in their section.
During one meeting with the whiteys, they were given a printed copy of their escape route. It detailed the time when the doors would open, the whiteys and blackies who would assist them, and many more. Although it was still a rough outline, this was the best route that the whiteys formulated. And it would happen in a few months’ time.
As the residents lazed around the whiteys were even more busy than usual. Kristoff ordered a change in code for the Simulations teams across all divisions. They had to update the code of over a hundred thousand people in eight months yet they could only update a few hundred people at a time and those codes could only be updated when they enter the NEWards.
This was all necessary for the Übermensch Project. But even with the new changes in codes, the data they collected and the supposed effects don’t match. It’s as if a desktop system was fully upgraded from parts to peripherals, yet the performance remained the same as a third-rate computer.
This made Kristoff enraged yet at the same time elated. Although he couldn’t get the desired results, the longer this continued, the easier it became to track the traitors. From the initial 24 people, only 10 remained. Seeing this, Kreija was happy as well, yet agitated. Her close acquaintances still remained among the top 10 suspects. She wanted to ask why they were included in the list, but she didn’t understand their explanations. Or rather, she refused to listen.
The whole situation has now become a waiting game. Kristoff waits for a bit more time to further narrow the suspects while the residents wait for the signal of the whiteys on their side to commence the final phase of their escape plan. But little did they know that no matter what they did, they would eventually be found out.
Four months remain before the LCCC can be fully activated and Kristoff and his assistants have narrowed the suspects to just eight people. Even after multiple observations, the data they had presented and submitted remained constant, which is impossible. Kristoff set up multiple traps to monitor who enters what in the systems.
He had never been enraged when they caught the suspects tampering with the system’s codes. Although they were not physically seen, the inputs placed by the eight people were not inputs from the data collected, but fabricated ones.
It was because of them that Kristoff was forced to bring out the SIC-LCIC. It was because of them that Kristoff’s plans were held back by several years. It’s as if they didn’t want humanity to survive. It’s as if they wanted them to go extinct.
It was a fact that he knows who they are based from the ID’s and the inputs they made, but he didn’t know the true motive of the group. If it was simply to take the shelter down, there are easier and more discrete ways to go about it. Choosing this method is one of the worst choices since it takes long.
Perhaps it’s to take over dad’s position?
Kristoff thought as he looks at the screens floating in his main office. As he contemplated more, his initial thoughts seemed unlikely.
Nah, can’t be. If so, they should have taken a hold of other managerial positions and cast votes. Maybe it’s… probably not.
He had thought that their goal was to release the residents, but it would stupid. The codes for the Übermensch Project are not complete and would need the LCCC for it to fully activate and stabilise. He could not think of anything else so he leaned heavily on his chair and slumped down.
He heard a knock on his door which was unusual mainly because only a few people can enter his office freely as well as:
“Why bother knocking? Just enter.” He spoke.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Koldner. My habits still remain.” Kreija pushed the door aside with her gloves. The door disappeared as if it was a simulation from the simulation room.
“So, what is it?” He lazily said, not even straightening his back or looking at her.
“Firstly, Mr. Koldner, sit upright. It’s unsightly.” Kristoff followed her orders and was given a folder. “Secondly, these are the results of Lisa’s investigation.”
“You call Lisanna as Lisa, yet myself as Mr. Koldner? Now that’s Kold of you.” He made a pun with his name and she was unamused. “A-Ahem! Anyway, this is the last set of data we need. Contact Lisanna and inform her to proceed with the next phase. We need to remove some tumours or we won’t survive.”
Kreija was silent for a while before she was called out by Kristoff.
“Kreija?” She finally noticed him calling. “Never mind. I’ll do it.”
Kreija apologised and tried to contact Lisanna but was halted by Kristoff. He contacted her himself.
“Kreija, the coding team for the LCCC team are quite short on hands. Please assist them in completing the codes. If possible, do it within this month.”
“W-What? The coding team for the LCCC?”
“Exactly. I’m busy with changing codes and adding traps around and Lisanna is busy with keeping an eye on the suspects and the simulations. You’re the next best person fit to complete it. You know the codes anyway, just inspect it and assist the members.”
“B-But Mr. Kristoff, that would mean that I –“ Kreija fell silent upon seeing the serious face and narrowed eyes of Kristoff. She knew what that meant.
“… Yes, Mr. Kristoff….” She softly answered after a pause. “… I’ll be taking my leave then.” She slowly walked out of the room.
She knew why Kristoff told her to manage the coding team for the LCCC. It was like a demotion of sorts. Instead of focusing on the current operation, she was transferred elsewhere even if her skills were an asset. But she was refused to join all because of her feelings.
Close friends of hers were included in the list of suspects, her mind would be swirling around that instead of her work. Her emotions can’t be temporarily disabled or it would have detrimental effects later on, the worst being a completely different person.
She had no choice but to accept her new post. Her heavy footsteps echoed in the corridor as she headed for the lift. Her footsteps could be heard all the way to Kristoff’s office and even he didn’t want Kreija to be removed from the operation. She is a great asset. But with her current mental state, it might just jeopardise the whole operation. Especially since they would be moving in a few more weeks.